This afternoon Louie and I left the fog at Ocean Beach and drove back towards home. San Francisco, in case you were wondering, has microclimates. In other words, each neighborhood has its own peculiar weather patterns. Out by the ocean they get all the fog, while the Castro and the Mission are often drenched in sunlight. You could stand at the intersection of Castro and Market on a summer afternoon and watch as the fog rolls across the city until it brushes up against Twin Peaks where, like the sea before Moses, it parts in two and drifts to either side of the valley. You can stand in sun and see the white fog roll past you. I’m just sayin’. If you’re like me, you never get used to it, you never tire of it.

So we sat in the sun at the top of Buena Vista Park, looking out over the city as the fog rolled in under the Golden Gate Bridge, drifting into the bay. A young couple nearby practiced lines from a script…”I’m not trying to be difficult, but it’s time you knew the truth…”

A pair of well-groomed gentlemen sat nearby, and Louie approached them, wagging his tail. He sniffed at their water bottle and licked it once, twice. I called him back to me as they wrinkled their noses. Apparently he was thirsty.

Where did it come from, where does it ever come from, that thought: someday Louie will die. He lay on the grass at my feet and I rubbed my foot against his chest. Oh yeah, my mother, that’s how it starts. Such a day, such a view, I think of her and say hello. She’s sort of my middleman, my conduit, my link to a spiritual presence that sometimes seems too abstract. So I talk to her instead.

I used to think I could never survive that; life without Louie. Now I know I can, I will. I’ll survive whatever comes my way, which was her gift horse, her bitter medicine. She gave me that much, at least.

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